Batteryless RFID Tags with an e-Paper Display to Replace Labels

Pervasive Displays (PDi), a leader in e-paper displays, has announced that its low power e-paper display (EPD) modules have been used by Japan-based TOPPAN Printing to create a batteryless EPD tag with integrated RFID functionality, for logistics and inventory management.

Designed to replace both paper labels and RFID tags, the batteryless RFID-enabled EPD tag can update a device’s display and RFID tag data at the same time using a smartphone or NFC reader/writer. The device doesn’t have a battery and works simply off harvested RF energy supplied solely from the RFID reader / writer.

The combination of an EPD and RFID in a single device allows these tags to streamline inventory management, manufacturing and logistics operations. Both the human and machine-readable data can be updated easily and efficiently at the same time without the inconvenience of maintaining separate paper and RFID labels.

The Aurora Mb EPD modules are the lowest power consumption displays currently on the market, requiring as little as 2 mA of current during display update operations. This ultra-low power consumption means that the display updates can be powered purely by harvested energy from NFC, RFID, solar or thermal sources.

Unlike traditional active matrix LCD displays, e-paper technology is bistable, meaning no power is required to maintain the image on the tag. Additional power savings are made because a backlight is not needed to read the reflective display.